Japanese people are often described as having “moderate”, “modest”, or “mild” personalities. As an island nation, they have appreciate the importance of cooperation with family, neighbours, friends, and colleagues. In fact, it is considered a virtue to fit in with others – even if it means restraining one’s personal desires. The Japanese etiquette is based on avoiding causing discomfort or nuisance to others, so when tourists in Hokkaido started burping, farting and talking so loudly in public with no care, they had to do something.
The Hokkaido Tourism Organization released a tourist brochure asking them to curb the bad behaviour. According to the brochure, other unacceptable behaviours noticed from visitors also included littering, queue-cutting and soiling public toilets.
An original version of the guide was printed only in Chinese and released August last year, but was criticised for being condescending. So the tourism board revised its tone in the new version with cartoons and soft colours which was published both English and Chinese.
According to The Japan Times, hotels in Sapporo, Hokkaido’s capital, said they were reluctant to host visitors from China, because there have been cases where they were rowdy and dirtied rooms.
Hokkaido welcomes millions of visitors each year to its hot springs and ski resorts and China tops the list of highest number of tourists in Japan at 498,900, followed by Korea (490,800), Taiwan (349,000), and Hong Kong (151,800). Ever year, approximately 35,900 Australians visit Japan.